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Colter and Bratton were permitted to visit the indian villages today for the purpose of trading for roots and bread, they were fortunate and made a good return. we gave the indian cheif another sweat today, continuing it as long as he could possibly bear it; in the evening he was very languid but appeared still to improve in the use of his limbs. the child is recovering fast the inflamation has subsided intirely, we discontinued the poltice, and applyed a plaster of basilicon; the part is still considerably swolen and hard. in the evening R. Feilds Shannon and Labuish return from the chaise and brought with them five deer and a brown bear. among the grasses of this country I observe a large speceis which grows in moist situations; it rises to the hight of eight or ten feet, the culm is jointed, hollow, smooth, as large as a goos quill and more firm than ordinary grasses; the leaf is linnear broad and rough; it has much the appearance of the maden cain as it is called in the state of Gergia, and retains it's virdure untill late in the fall. this grass propegates principally by the root which is horizontal and perennial. a second speceis grows in tussucks and rises to the hight of six or eight feet; it seems to delight in the soil of the river bottoms which possess a greater mixture of sand than the hills in this neighbourhood. this is also a harsh course grass; it appears to be the same which is called the Corn grass in the Southern states, and the foxtail in Virginia. a third speceis resembles the cheet, tho the horses feed on it very freely. a fourth and most prevalent speceis is a grass which appears to be the same called the blue grass common to many parts of the United States; it is common to the bottom as well as the uplands, is now seeding and is from 9 inches to 2 feet high; it affords an excellent pasture for horses and appears to bear the frosts and snow better than any grass in our country; I therefore regret very much that the seed will not be ripe before our probable departure. this is a fine soft grass and would no doubt make excellent hay if cultivated.
The Shallun or deep purple berry is in form much like the huckkleberry and terminates bluntly with a kind of cap or cover at the end like that fruit; they are attatched seperately to the sides of the boughs of the shrub by a very short stem hanging underneath the same and are frequently placed very near each other on the same bough; it is a full bearer. the berry is easily geathered as it seperates from the bough readily, while the leaf is strongly affixed. the shrub which produces this fruit rises to the hight of 6 or 8 feet sometimes grows on the high lands but moste generally in the swampy or marshey grounds; it is an evergreen. the stem or trunk is from three to 10 Inches in circumference irregularly and much branched, seldom more than one steem proceding from the same root, tho they are frequently associated very thickly. the bark is somewhat rough and of a redish brown colour. the wood is very firm and hard. the leaves are alternate declining and attatched by a short fotstalk to the two horizontal sides of the boughs; the form is a long oval, reather more accute towards its apex than at the point of insertion; it's margin slightly serrate, it's sides colapsing or partially foalding upwards or channelled; it is also thick firm smothe and glossey, the upper surface of a fine deep green, while the under disk is of a pale or whiteish green. this shrub retains it's virdure very perfectly during the winter and is a beautifull shrub. the natives either eat these berrys when ripe immediately from the bushes or dryed in the sun or by means of their sweating kilns; very frequently they pound them and bake then in large loaves of 10 or fifteen pounds; this bread keeps very well during one season and retains the moist jeucies of the fruit much better than by any other method of preservation. this bread is broken and stired in could water until it be sufficiently thick and then eaten; in this way the natives most generally use it.
The Sac a commis is the growth of high dry situations, and invariably in a piney country or on it's borders. it is generally found in the open piney woodland as on the Western side of the Rocky mountain but in this neighbourhood we find it only in the praries or on their borders in the more open wood lands; a very rich soil is not absolutely necessary, as a meager one frequently produces it abundantly. the natives on this side of the Rockey mountains who can procure this berry invariably use it; to me it is a very tasteless and insippid fruit. this shrub is an evergreen, the leaves retain their virdure most perfectly through the winter even in the most rigid climate as on lake Winnipic. the root of this shrub puts forth a great number of stems which seperate near the surface of the ground; each stem from the size of a small quill to that of a man's finger; these are much branched the branches forming an accute angle with the stem, and all more poperly pocumbent than creeping, for altho it sometimes puts forth radicles from the stem and branches which strike obliquely into the ground, these radicles are by no means general, equable in their distances from each other nor do they appear to be calculated to furnish nutriment to the plant but reather to hold the stem or branch in it's place. the bark is formed of several thin layers of a smoth thin brittle substance of a dark or redish brown colour easily seperated from the woody stem in flakes. the leaves with rispect to their position are scatered yet closely arranged near the extremities of the twigs particularly. the leaf is about 3/4 of an inch in length and about half that in width, is oval but obtusely pointed, absolutely entire, thick, smoth, firm, a deep green and slightly grooved. the leaf is supported by a small footstalk of proportionable length. the berry is attatched in an irregular and scattered manner to the small boughs among the leaves, tho frequently closely arranged, but always supported by seperate short and small peduncles, the insertion of which poduces a slight concavity in the bury while it's opposite side is slightly convex; the form of the berry is a spheroid; the shorter diameter being in a line with the peduncle. this berry is a pericarp the outer coat of which is a thin firm tough pellicle, the inner part consists of a dry mealy powder of a yellowish white colour invelloping from four to six proportionably large hard light brown seeds each in the form of a section of a spheroid which figure they form when united, and are destitute of any membranous covering. the colour of this fruit is a fine scarlet. the natives usually eat them without any preperation. the fruit ripens in september and remains on the bushes all winter. the frost appears to take no effect on it. these berries are sometimes geathered and hung in their lodges in bags where they dry without further trouble, for in their most succulent state they appear to be almost as dry as flour.